Second Annual Tele-Fest at Beech Mountain Resort January 21st; Regions Biggest Event for Cross Country Downhill Skiers


"Half the Binding…Twice the Fun!"  – That’s the mantra of telemark ski enthusiast. I don’t know about you guys, but nearly everytime I hit the slopes these days, I see at least one telemark or "free heel" skier. 

The High Country Nordic Association’s Second Annual Tele-Fest will offer downhill Nordic skiers a chance to celebrate the beautiful Telemark turn at Beech Mountain Resort January 21st. The telemark is that dipping, dance-like turn that Nordic skiers can execute because only their toe is attached to the ski binding.

In only its second year, the event has become the leading regional opportunity for “tele-ski” enthusiasts to meet, ski together, improve their skills, and win great prizes from a long list of outdoor gear suppliers.

I was speaking with Lynn Willis on Thursday and he shared, "It’s amazing how people in NC are hearing about Tele-Fest because their brother in Colorado had heard about it first! Even, a couple from NH are flying to Charlotte and driving to Beech Mtn. for a one day Telemark Ski Festival. More people know about this event from other mountain towns across the USA than the locals do and we’ve been promoting this very well in local media and the regional newspapers down in the Piedmont as well."

We run the most visited ski website east of the Rockies and I have to admit that this is the first we’d heard about it. ("A prophet has no honor in his own country" and all that!)


The event runs from 9 am to 4:30 pm on Saturday the 21st (registration starts at 8 am in the View Haus where the event will be based). The cost is $50 and includes a lift ticket, 2012 event T-shirt, HCNA decal, and entry in various raffles and a Poker Run (each skier gets a random playing card after each run—even if they ski the easiest beginner slope). The winners of the “poker hands” and raffles take home national name brand outdoor gear prizes. The fee for skiers who already own a season ski pass is $15 and includes a shirt, decal, and prize entry.

Get this exciting event started early by pre-registering from 6-8 pm Friday evening at Footsloggers in downtown Boone. Those who pre-register can simply pick up their lift ticket and hit the slopes Saturday morning. Footsloggers will remain open for attendees to pick up last minute essentials and sponsor Black Cat Burrito (right next door) is offering a dollar off a first drink for anyone showing off the shirt or decal they pick up Friday night.

The Saturday event will feature a Gear Swap for Telemark skis, boots, poles and other equipment, and a Gear Share, where organizers hope to “get as many people on the snow in borrowed gear as we can,” says HCNA’s Russel Hiatt. “We’re encouraging everyone with gear they’d be willing to lend, particularly boots, to please bring them.”

Hiatt urges everyone to, “Wax those skis, do some squats, and get ready to have a blast with other free-heelers on beautiful Beech Mountain!”

The event’s prizes have been sponsored by Backcountry Magazine, Beech Mountain Resort, Black Cat Burrito, Boone Brewing Company, Farmers Ski Shop, 1st Tracks, Footsloggers, High Country Ski Shop at Pineola Inn, M-Prints, Mast General Store, Mountain Sports Ltd., Mahoney’s, Scarpa. Ski Country Sports, Stick Boy Bread, 22 Designs, and Voile.

For more information visit the group on Facebook (type High Country Nordic Association into the Facebook search field).

For more information contact: Russel Hiatt, 828-297-6003 or [email protected]

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